BMI, physical activity, and future care needs

presenter(s) Olena Nizalova | University of Kent
Jules Forder | University of Kent


Previous literature shows that Body Mass Index (obesity status) is a strong predictor of the disability and functional limitations. Relying on the data from the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing over the period from 2002 to 2011, we find that obesity status is also a significant risk factor in determining future informal care needs but not formal care use, even after controlling for ADLs and IADLS and for specific existing health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and CVD. Obese elderly are 1.7-1.8 times more likely to use informal care and privately paid care, but not formal care, in two-year’s time. Sensitivity analysis on a restricted sample shows that this result is not driven by prediabetes. We also find that physical activity is associated with a significantly lower likelihood of using any mode of care in the future, with the strongest effect for formal care use. Moreover, the effect of obesity on informal care use is larger for females, but the protective effect of physical activity is stronger for males.

date 1 September 2104

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